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05-29-2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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Wide angle lens decision

I'm currently trying to decide on a wide angle lens for my next purchase (land/cityscape shots)...I've been having a hard time deciding whether or not the Pentax F/2.8 14mm prime lens is worth the $550 as my Tamron 18-250 zoom goes as wide as 18mm. Are the photos that much sharper with a lot less purple fringing? The other lens I have been thinking about is the Sigma 10-20mm zoom and the Pentax F/4 DA 12-24mm.

The fish eye lens I have goes all the way to 10mm but this is for wide angle shots minus the distortion that the fish eye effect has.

Thanks in advance!

05-29-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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I have the Sigma 10-20 mm. It is a good lens and does not have the fisheye distortion at 10 mm.

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05-29-2008, 11:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by eagle7312 Quote
I have the Sigma 10-20 mm. It is a good lens and does not have the fisheye distortion at 10 mm.
ofcourse it doesnt, its a rectilinear lens



to the OP

the Pentax 10-17 Fish Eye lens has the most reach you can squeeze on to a Pentax

the fish eye distortion properties are what allow it to achieve this.

the sigma 10-20 at 10mm will cover less ground because it is a rectilinear lens, however it will not have concave distortions on the edges, but it does stretch the image from the center outward.

different tools for different things.
05-29-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Why don't you just shoot Panoramas with the Tammy and save a bunch of money.


Last edited by Fl_Gulfer; 05-29-2008 at 11:41 AM.
05-29-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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I've got both the 14/2.8 and the Tammy 18-250. There is no comparison in lens quality; the 18-250 is a great walkaround and travel lens, but I don't trust it for shots I *know* I'm going to want to blow up. The 14 is much sharper, particularly when compared to the Tammy at 18 mm. Plus, you can't use the lens hood on the Tamron at anything under about 35mm, due to vignetting. (Though the one think I don't like about the 14mm is the cheap plastic lens hood, which -- like the tamron -- is difficult to attach without looking, although it does work once its on).

I originally purchased the 10-17 fisheye to go wider, but I prefer the rectilinear perspective of the 14mm. Just a matter of taste. I found myself frequently using that lens at 14-17 (where the fisheye is less pronounced), and finally decided to sell it as superfluous to the 14mm. If you like a rectilinear approach, you won't be disappointed with the 14mm.
05-29-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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if you will need the extra stop of light, metal-based build quality, and lower price go for the DA14- it's great lens. If you click on the link in my sig and look at the slot canyon gallery, most if not all were taken with the DA14. That trip proved the extra stop of light is useful, as is the solid construction. The lens took several knocks but kept on goin. Also, the wide-angle shots in the Salt Lake Temple gallery were taken with that lens as well. It's definitely one of my favorites. I've not posted many of my cityscape pics that I've taken with it, mostly because most arn't that good- the fault lies with the photographer, not the lens. It does have some slight funky distortion (does a little wave), but if you're aware of it you can figure out ways to hide it.

If you need versatility and a wider field of view, go for the 12-24 or 10-20.
05-29-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Why don't you just shoot Panoramas with the Tammy and save a bunch of money.
quality panoramas require either exellent math or a proper swirl tool thingy

that and their POV is different than either fish eye or rectalinear since you rotate about the center axis
05-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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I can't comment on the Sigma, I won't allow one of the damned things anywhere near a camera I am using.
However, the DA14/2.8 is noticably better than the DA 12-24, and the DA 12-24 is a very good lens indeed.
I have the 10-17 for when I need to go wider than that, and I just defish the resulting images. I don't really think it gives that much more FOV than the 12mm end of the 12-24 once it's been defished, but I haven't done any direct comparisons either.

05-29-2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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Original Poster
Wow thanks everyone. I do like the tammy but it's more of a walk around lens and was looking for something that I would use for shots I take the time to setup. I think I will go with the f/2.8 14mm lens and try use the fish eye for anything wider (I like the fish eye effect but not for all shots).

What tools do you guys use in order to defish the images? Are they reliable or can you tell that they have been defished?
05-29-2008, 01:47 PM   #10
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nevertheless, you should give the Sigma 10-20 a try. It is slow, starting at 4.0, but it is a very useful super-wide lens of very good optical quality. Sharpness and contrast are excellent, if you step down to f8 and useful fully open. Build quality is fine, despite being lightweight. Since I have that lens my trusted Pentax 15mm f3.5 is almost retired - not the least, because the Sigma has much less problems with lens flare and is more compact.

Ben
05-29-2008, 02:08 PM   #11
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buy DA 12-34/4

My collegue has Sigma 10-20. It is wider but much more softer out of center and it has negative distorsions which I do not like.

look at photozone tests:
Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 AL ED [IF] - Review / Test Report
and
Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC (Pentax K) - Review / Test Report

here there are two examples how 12-24/4 work:
Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL [IF]
1/500s f/8.0 at 14.0mm iso200


Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL [IF]
1/500s f/11.0 at 14.0mm iso200
05-29-2008, 02:16 PM   #12
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I have the sigma 10-20mm and it is a very nice lens. If you want wide, the 10-20mm is the one. The 12-24mm is a little sharper and both of the aforementioned are sharper than the fisheye. The 14mm prime will be the sharpest of all. You just need to decide on how wide is enuff. All are in about the same $ range
05-29-2008, 03:03 PM   #13
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The DA14 is one of my favourite lenses. I've found it especially good shooting in buildings while on vacation. It's also quite compact and very well-built.
05-29-2008, 03:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jslifoaw Quote
The DA14 is one of my favourite lenses. I've found it especially good shooting in buildings while on vacation. It's also quite compact and very well-built.
Good to hear that. I continually struggle with what to bring on vacation where photography is not the primary focus, and have lately been thinking that the DA14 would be added to the vaca kit, along with the Tammy 18-250 and either the Sigma 50/2.8 macro or Pentax 50/1.7 SMC-A.

Another good reason for the OP to go with his gut and get the DA14.
05-29-2008, 06:28 PM   #15
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And to toss wood on the fire there's the DA15mm limited due out. I've been having the same internal struggle. I think I've settled on the 12-24 for the wide zoom for when im ready to buy if the 15mm hasn't been released.
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